Jordan Hamilton looks to fit in with Clippers

Jordan Hamilton joins Clippers on 10-day contract

It was a homecoming of sorts when Jordan Hamilton joined the Clippers here.

Hamilton is from Los Angeles and grew up going to Clippers games at Staples Center because he played on Lamar Odom's summer club team.

"When he was with the Clippers, that's who I watched," Hamilton said Wednesday. "I played for his AAU team and I built a relationship with him."

The Clippers hope to build a lasting bond with Hamilton after signing him to a 10-day contract because it will mean he proves valuable.

Hamilton did not play Wednesday during the Clippers' 110-105 loss to the host Houston Rockets. But the former Compton Dominguez High star could provide depth at small forward behind starter Matt Barnes, who had been the Clippers' only true player at that position after they traded Reggie Bullock and Chris Douglas-Roberts last month.

Hamilton was the 26th pick in the 2011 draft after spending two seasons at Texas. He spent his first 2 1/2 seasons in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets before being traded to Houston in February 2014.

"He's been in the league and he's proven he can score some too and he's a big body," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said.

The 6-foot-7 Hamilton, 24, spent this season in the Development League, averaging 18.1 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Reno Bighorns.

In 126 NBA games, Hamilton averaged 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds, and shot 40.6%, including 35.8% from three-point range. Hamilton said he would not be picky about helping the Clippers.

"Whatever that role they want me to do," he said, "I'm going to do it: making shots, playing defense, being a hustle guy, being a guy on the bench to cheer for his team."

The Clippers still have one open roster spot but Rivers said they would not necessarily fill it unless they found a player who could help them.

Thorny situation

Rivers called Derrick Rose's latest knee injury "a shame" and said he hoped the Chicago Bulls star was not replicating the career arc of former Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers, whose Hall of Fame career was cut short by a series of knee injuries.

Rose is expected to sit out the rest of the season after suffering torn cartilage in his right knee. He suffered the same injury in November 2013 and tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the opener of the 2012 playoffs.

"But listen, they're really good and they're going to continue to be good," said Rivers, whose team plays the Bulls on Sunday in Chicago. "They have one of the best coaches in the NBA [ Tom Thibodeau, a former Rivers assistant] and they have a ton of talent and a ton of size.

"I always tell our guys, 'They're the Memphis of the East.' They have their size, they have two passing bigs, so they're not going anywhere."

Etc.

Blake Griffin has resumed conditioning but Rivers said he did not know whether the All-Star forward could rejoin the team by the time it plays its next home game, March 4 against Portland.

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